Ranked: the world’s best cities for work-life balance – FFA

Oslo, Bern, Helsinki and other top-ranked countries were able to offer generous holiday allowances, parental leaves, and mental support for workers.

Work. We spend a lot time doing it, and its impact on our daily lives is under greater scrutiny. The UK launched Monday a trial of a 4-day work week. Participating firms offered the same pay but for fewer hours. Remote working has become a popular option. de rigueur since the pandemic, although it’s not for everyone – and, unfairly, not everyone has the option. 

It’s in this context that researchers have attempted to identify the best cities for work-life balance. The idea is to highlight cities that do it right so that we can all learn from them. 

Oslo, the Norwegian capital came out on top. Zurich (Switzerland), Zürich (Switzerland), Helsinki(Finland) and Copenhagen, Denmark also made it to the top five. Which UK city is the best performing? Liverpool is 24th, ahead Glasgow (25) and London 27. And what about the top US city? Seattle is 32nd.

The five most overworked cities were identified as Dubai (UAE), Hong Kong (Malaysia), Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur(Malaysia), Singapore, and Montevideo (Uruguay). 

The researchKisi, a tech firm that specializes in workplace access, conducted the research. The data crunchers identified the 100 most desirable cities to work in. Then they assessed them for work intensity, based on factors including holiday allowance, parental leave, the percentage of remote working jobs, unemployment figures and inflation rates. 

Also, the role of institutions and government in providing a conducive living environment for citizens was examined. Gender equality, LGBTQ+ rights, quality of healthcare, and access to mental health support all helped determine the score. 

The best cities

Bern was among the three Swiss cities that made the top ten. Alin Andersen

“Recent years have tested the support structures in place for employees around the world,” said Bernhard Mehl, CEO Kisi. “The study showcases the cities that give residents the best access to high quality mental healthcare, as well as those where employees are able and encouraged to take the most vacation days. We hope cities lagging behind in these areas can find inspiration from the index leaders.” 

Kisi acknowledged that people’s work-life balance is impacted by their financial security, and that times are tough.

“High rates of inflation could hit the ability of employees to cope with work-related stress,” said Mehl. “With this in mind, companies and governments must pay more attention to the needs of employees by being more flexible and attentive to their needs, whether by banning overtime, encouraging employees not to check emails in the evening, or introducing mental health awareness vacations.”

The best cities

The highest-ranked UK city was Liverpool, followed closely by London and Glasgow. Image by Conor Samuel

Measuring a city’s work-life balance is a tricky business and the fact that only 100 cities were assessed is one obvious flaw in the study. The results were interesting and offered some comparisons to other research.

In a study to determine the best cities for mental wellness, Copenhagen, Bern, Helsinki, and Bern were all included in the top ten.

The study that ranked countries with the highest social progress was then released. It featured Canada, Norway and Finland as well as Germany, Denmark, Finland, Denmark, Germany, and Canada. A pattern emerges.

According to Kisi: The best cities for work/life balance

  1. Oslo, Norway
  2. Bern, Switzerland
  3. Helsinki, Finland
  4. Zurich, Switzerland
  5. Copenhagen, Denmark
  6. Geneva, Switzerland
  7. Ottawa, Canada
  8. Sydney, Australia
  9. Stuttgart, Germany
  10. Munich, Germany
  11. Stockholm, Sweden
  12. Melbourne, Australia
  13. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  14. Tokyo, Japan
  15. Leipzig, Germany
  16. Vancouver, Canada
  17. Auckland, New Zealand
  18. Hamburg, Germany
  19. Toronto, Canada
  20. Frankfurt, Germany

Main image: Oliver Cole

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